The Best E3 Moments

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Image: jnkboy

Before E3, everyone gets excited for the big new announcements. But after E3, all anyone remembers — and cherishes — are the kind of screw-ups, misfires and awkward heroism you can only get when corporate executives and video game developers have to get on stage and be salesmen in front of millions.

This post originally appeared June 2015.

This being a site all about the best things, then, are the best E3 moments of all time. And by “best”, I mean within the context of how we, as superfans of video games, consume and remember the show. Nobody will look back in five years time — perhaps making an updated version of this list — and fondly recall the sizzle reels of the latest games of E3 2007. But they will sure as hell still be talking about Jamie Kennedy.

SONY 2006: The Sky Is Falling

If I’d broken this conference’s individual highlights into their own moments, we’d be here all day. So here are all your favourites, from $US599 ($779) to MASSIVE DAMAGE, in the one video.

NINTENDO 2004: Miyamoto’s Finest Hour

Relative to the time, the system and the series, no other E3 trailer in history has made people lose their shit like the Twilight Princess reveal in 2004. Throw in the fact series creator Shigeru Miyamoto wandered on-stage with a quality Master Sword and Hylian Shield and you’ve got maybe Nintendo’s strongest ever E3 performance.


Microsoft’s Kinect needed to impress in its first major live performance. It did not.

KONAMI 2010: One Million Troops

Tak Fuji enters E3 folklore with this presentation, which begins in the most excruciating way possible, yet somehow ends up as a triumph over adversity.

NINTENDO 2008: Wii Music 🙁

You know how I said up top that 2004 was Nintendo’s strongest E3 performance? This was the opposite.

SONY 2009: No Fucks Given

Gran Turismo boss Kazunouri Yamauchi takes to the stage and in Japanese, tells the world all about the PSP version of his classic racing series. His translator, meanwhile, gives no fucks (and still does not, even to this day).

NINTENDO 2004: Hi Reggie

As if Miyamoto’s antics weren’t enough, E3 2004 also the public debut of the Reggie Fils-Aime. He’s a part of the corporate video game furniture now, but in 2004, this was a breath of fresh air for a company that was in a bit of trouble!

UBISOFT 2011: Mr. Caffeine, Who Is The Worst

Someone knew about this man. Someone suggested booking this man. Someone approved that suggestion. There are so many people to blame for this.

SONY 1995: $US299 ($389)

Long before the disaster of $US599 ($779) or the triumph of $US499 ($649), Sony made the most memorable price announcement of all time. In 1995, Sony’s Steve Race walks to the podium, says a single word (announcing the launch price of the PlayStation) and walks off to a room full of applause. That’s how it’s done.

NINTENDO 2001: Please, Stop

A writer for Nintendojo — which is still around! — thought it would be a good idea to ask Shigeru Miyamoto a question in Japanese. It was not. Excruciating viewing, even after all these years.

NINTENDO 2007: His Body Was Ready

If you’ve ever seen the image and wondered where it came from, this is where it came from. From anyone else, it’s a weird thing to say. From Reggie, it’s simply a statement of fact.

MICROSOFT 2007: Rock Band For Beginners

Hey, Peter Moore. I know you were probably super busy in the lead-up to E3 2007, but it couldn’t have hurt to put in a little more practice (BONUS: here’s the story behind this demo).




  • Holy shit. Until I watched that Jamie Kennedy clip I thought the least funny thing ever was when I burnt the end of my dick with a cigarette.

  • The Sony 2009 one… it was boring until the memes started. Then I just could not stop laughing. 😀

  • $299.

    That’s how you do it. Shame he didn’t have a mic and then proceed to drop it after announcing the price.


    So many E3 memories. Sadly those memories are mostly bad.

    Of the more recent ones, I do like the contrast between the Sony E3 2013 presser and the Microsoft E3 2013 presser. It was pure win for the former and fail for the latter. Sony managed to get this one right with the wider announcement of the PS4. They learnt from the painful mistakes of 2006. Microsoft, however, buggered it up. It was like it was their turn for a rough announcement, and Sony capitalised on it in the proceeding days and months, right into TGS. Fortunately Microsoft eventually came to their senses after the public backlash and we ended up with a better product. But there was no doubt: Sony’s E3 presser clearly smacked down Microsoft’s in 2013. It was beautiful.

    • I always wonder how long in advance Sony planned their 2013 conference.

      If you remember back to the few months before there were rumours coming out of major developers that BOTH machines would have infrastructure similar to that originally envisaged for the Xbone.

      I always think that Sony was intending to go down the same route up until they saw the opportunity to throw MS under the bus and took it. It was just such a targeted assault on the “anti-consumer” MS plan that it seemed planned long in advance.

      Either way, thank god Sony went the way they did. As someone who was broadly supportive of the MS ‘always-on’ plan (I saw benefits and everyone has the Internet now anyway) I now think it would have been a disaster, particularly for Sony (who are terrible at keeping their servers running).

  • Oh man, so many cringe worthy moments!
    Pretty funny stuff.

    Even the “$299” thing is embarrassing douchbaggery.

    I can’t watch E3 live anymore because of stuff like this.
    You let awkward nerds leave their excited little development silos and they end up embarrassing themselves. It’s brutal.

    • That’s why I like Nintendo Directs. It’s not live, they do it before hand, and they have done some pretty funny stuff in the past. I can’t see them topping the muppets though.

  • “Ever wondered what the back of an avatar shoe looks like? Well, BAM!”

    Oh. My. God!!! I laughed so hard, I cried!

  • The Unravelled guy was right up there too. A few others feel like they’re right on the tip of my tongue, but not coming.

  • Don’t these reposts usually come with a “This article was originally posted in 1997” warning so you don’t bother reading a 3 year old article?

  • The actual best moment of E3 remains the 2006 announcement of then-long-awaited Halo 3. The room’s lights dimmed, and against a darkened screen, that one fucking chord played. You know the one.

    Everyone present lost their shit at that one chord.

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